Small moth native to South America


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Small moth native to South America

  • Small moth native to South America

  • Major pest of tomatoes and other solanaceous plants (nightshades)



Native to South America

  • Native to South America

  • Spread to Europe, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East

  • Currently, it is not known to occur in the U.S.







Prefers tomato

  • Prefers tomato

  • Will also feed on other nightshades, such as potatoes, eggplant, and peppers

  • Other host plants possible but unlikely and incidental









Can complete up to 12 generations per year depending on temperature

  • Can complete up to 12 generations per year depending on temperature

  • The adults mate multiple times

  • Females can lay up to 260 eggs

  • Can overwinter in the following stages:

    • Egg
    • Pupa
    • Adult


Larvae cause damage when they tunnel through leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruit

  • Larvae cause damage when they tunnel through leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruit

  • Produce mines and galleries and large amounts of waste as they tunnel through plant tissue









Carla Burkle, B.S.



Stephanie Stocks, M.S.

  • Stephanie Stocks, M.S.

  • Assistant-In, Extension Scientist, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida

  • Jennifer Hamel, Ph.D.

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida

  • Matthew D. Smith, Ph.D.

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida



Julieta Brambila, M.S.

  • Julieta Brambila, M.S.

  • USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine.

  • James E. Hayden, Ph.D.

  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.

  • Leroy Whilby, DPM

  • Bureau Chief - Entomology, Nematology and Plant Pathology, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services



U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS)

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS)

  • Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program (CAPS)

  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS)

  • National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN)

  • Sentinel Plant Network (SPN)

  • Protect U.S.

  • University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS)





Bloem, S. and E. Spaltenstein. 2011. New Pest Response Guidelines: Tomato Leafminer (Tuta absoluta). USDA–APHIS–PPQ–EDP Emergency Management, Riverdale, Maryland. Accessed 12/17/2013,

  • Bloem, S. and E. Spaltenstein. 2011. New Pest Response Guidelines: Tomato Leafminer (Tuta absoluta). USDA–APHIS–PPQ–EDP Emergency Management, Riverdale, Maryland. Accessed 12/17/2013,

    • http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/emergency/downloads/Tuta-absoluta.pdf.
  • Brambila, J., S. Lee, and S. Passoa. 2010. Tuta absoluta diagnostic aid. Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey program. Accessed 4 Dec 2013,

    • http://caps.ceris.purdue.edu/screening/tuta_absoluta
  • CABI Invasive Species Compendium. Tuta absoluta. Accessed 17 December 2013.

    • http://www.cabi.org/isc/?compid=5&dsid=49260&page=481&site=144#
  • European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. 2005. Data sheets on quarantine pests: Tuta absoluta. EPPO Bulletin 35, p. 434–435. Accessed 10 Feb 2013,

    • http://www.eppo.int/QUARANTINE/insects/Tuta_absoluta/DS_Tuta_absoluta.pdf


Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 2013. Florida Agriculture by the Numbers. Accessed 1/28/2013-

  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 2013. Florida Agriculture by the Numbers. Accessed 1/28/2013-

    • http://freshfromflorida.s3.amazonaws.com/Media%2FFiles%2FMarketing-Development-Files%2FAg_stats_2013_with+covers.pdfP-01304.pdf
  • Hayden, J.E., S. Lee, S.C. Passoa, J. Young, J.-F. Landry, V. Nazari, R. Mally, L.A. Somma, and K.M. Ahlmark. 2013. Digital Identification of Microlepidoptera on Solanaceae. USDA-APHIS-PPQ Identification Technology Program (ITP). Fort Collins, CO. Accessed 16 January 2014,

    • http://idtools.org/id/leps/micro/factsheet.php?name=%3Cem%3ETuta+absoluta%3C%2Fem%3E
  • Smith, Melissa. 2012. Virginia Tech research program confirms presence of invasive insect in Senegal. Virginia Tech News. Published 28 Sep 2012. Accessed 23 Feb 2013.

    • http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2012/09/092812-oired-tuta.html



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